Originally this was intended only for men, specifically British officers. Although the textile merchant Thomas Burberry is often credited with inventing the trench coat, the Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh and the British inventor Thomas Hancock had had the idea for waterproof coats a few decades earlier.
However, Burberry could boast of developing the gabardine fabric in 1879, which is still used in many models today. Instead of making the finished textile weatherproof, he was the first to weave twill cotton in such a way that microscopic gaps resulted in both breathability and water repellency.
Although the trench coat has had many male fans over the course of history (such as Peter Falk alias Columbo) and Emporio Armani, among others, has now shown a colorful interpretation for men – today the majority of the trench coat business is in the women’s world.